One of the great truths of the Easter celebration is that we are celebrating the end of fear. You may not have ever considered it but resurrection Sunday marked the end of fear. From the day of the fall of the Adam and Eve until Jesus came all men and women feared the one great irony of life. Solomon wrote about it in his journal called Ecclesiastes. No matter how good or worthless one may be in life all will end up in the same spot. The grave. There was fear of the grave itself and overwhelming fear of what lay beyond. Jesus the Son of the Living God knew that every human would live a life filled with this kind of fear. His love could not allow this to happen. God the Son chose to leave heaven and come to earth. He chose to live life as a normal flesh and blood human being subjected to the same physical pains, emotional pains, and spiritual pains as we. After 33 years of weeping for a lost humanity He willingly began a walk of death towards Jerusalem. He knew what lay at the end of that walk. There was a group of powerful and influential men who had purposed in their hearts to put Him to death. He knew that it was satan who had inspired them to kill Him. He understood that dying wasn’t all that awaited Him. The Pharisees, unwittingly following satan’s lead, conspired to pour out on Him the most vulgar painful death imaginable. The Roman cross was the most violent and painful death possible. It was excruciating. That word is a transliterated English word from the Greek which means from the cross. Death on the cross was so painful that no word existed to adequately describe it so a new word was created. Excruciating! It is clear from the accounts of the crucifixion that as painful as was Christ’s physical punishment and death it was not worst aspect of His suffering. Every sin and disease that would ever be present in humanity was heaped upon the body of Jesus that day. For scripture to be able to say By His stripes we are healed He had to carry every disease to the cross. All of the murderous rage bound up in Hitler and Stalin, the pain that a wounded spouse feels from an adulterous mate, the betrayal and suffering inflicted on a sexually abused child and every other form of debauchery was attributed to the heart and soul of this perfect Son of God. He became guilty of all this. After this unbelievable suffering Jesus died but His work wasn’t finished. He descended into Hades to defeat death, hell and grave. Three days later He rose from the dead to prove to the world that all was forgiven and that death was defeated. There is nothing to fear either in this life or in the life to come. That is what we are celebrating.

The way we celebrate freedom from fear is by getting a vision of the resurrected Jesus Christ. The gospel of John records the story of the disciples hiding in an undisclosed room consumed with fear. Then Jesus shows up. John 20:19-20 NLT That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Take note that none of the external circumstances had changed. They Pharisee’s were still looking for them. There were still people who wanted to kill them. When they saw Jesus fear was gone and joy filled their hearts. One of the many truths of Easter that we celebrate is that we can rid our lives of fear and be filled with joy. So the big question is how do we get a vision of a risen Jesus. The specific answer is unique for each man. Sometimes I listen to music about Jesus and leaning back in my chair I try to visualize that moment He came out of the grave. Sometimes I meditate on the difference in my life before and after trusting Him. Most of the time I literally stare into the eastern sky before dawn and think “Maybe today”.